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tv   Detroit Observatory  CSPAN  November 17, 2013 3:41pm-3:51pm EST

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and we'll take your phone calls. remembering jfk, 50 years after dallas, here on american history tv on c-span 3. all weekend long, american history tv is featuring ann arbor, michigan, nicknamed tree town because of its forested residential areas. c-span's local content vehicles recently traveled there to learn more about its history. learn more about ann arbor, michigan this weekend. it's ironic that they have important building is in a state where cloud cover will wreck the conditions for viewing. but this is, if you wanted to run with the big dogs, this is what you had to be doing.
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we are at the 1854 detroit observatory. it is the second oldest building on the university of michigan campus. only the president's house is older. and this is the first building built that was a dedicated scientific research facility. the building is part of a campaign to transform the university of michigan that was first proposed by henry philip tappen. he didn't get here until 1852. when he did, he wanted to transform it into a research university. prior to that time it was a provincial college where you had to know your classical greek and latin. he was really into the impression educational system. there was a real focus not only on literature, but scientific curriculum. and you learned by doing.
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so not just raiding from a book and standing up and reciting but conducting experiments on your on. u learning to use the tools and pushing the frontier. so tappan really wanted to institute that here. and in the 1850s, astronomy was really fundamental to other sign enss. in part because the math is ferocious. so if you understand the math to operate a telescope hike this then you understand the math to move into engineering or chemistry, notes of different sciences. in the 1850s, universities that wanted to be contenders needed observatories. so this was the first step in a very public commitment to taking the university of michigan in the direction of becoming a
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research university. but it was also a very savvy, public relations move on tappan's part because it's saying loud and clear, we have a commitment to scientific research at the university of michigan. we're willing to build this building, put some of the best instruments at the time, the best scientific instruments at the disposal of faculty and s d students. and the image of this building was put on letterhead, catalogs. students were like oh, my god, i can't believe you're going to dartmouth, dartmouth doesn't have an observatory. michigan has an observe tor eye. it was a way of attracting future students and the enrollment skyrocketed. when this building was proposed he was approached by some folks in detroit who were willing to help him do the fund-raising. and they literally raised money
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by subscription. people would raise $100, $50. $500 was a huge amount of money. when he was sure he was going to have enough money to build it, he himself went to europe to choose the instruments. on his way to europe he stopped in new york city and contracted to build the big telescope in the dome. and then he went abroad and they suggest thad this instrument, the transit instrument be gotten from one of the firms in berlin. so it's prussian. so they contracted to make this instrument. all of it's still functional. you can still open the hatches. tappan had a budget of about $24,000, give or take. and most of that money actually
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went into the instruments. so he's really concerned with taking a pretty modest budget and making it look much more impressive than the budget would suggest that he could. but he also understood how the tools had to function within the building. so it's not just about a pretty building. they wanted it to look good, but they also needed it to function. so you have these piers that old up the telescope. the pier is actually covered in stucco. and then the stucco is scored and the lines that you just scored are colored in to look like big blocks of quarried stone. at that time, this was called the little stucco village. it was scored to look like big quarried stone. so this building has got an ark
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logically correct greek front porch. but then we add the italian eight overhang. so it's a fashionable touch. it's concerned with the tradition and carrying it forward. tappan wanted it to look good, but it also had to function. once this building came in we had a chemistry laboratory on central campus. the law school came in. engineering. the school of engineering starts here in this building. they learn to use these instruments first. and the director here was teaching them the math they needed to carry that into physics. so really, all the scientific curriculum comes out of work being done in this building. really, it set michigan on a path that not only made it one of the best universities in the nation but one of the best in the word. and that's because henry philip
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tappan didn't dream small. throughout the weekend, american history tv is featuring ann arbor, michigan. our local content vehicles recently traveled there to learn about its rich history. learn more about ann arbor at content. you're watching american history tv all weekend, every weekend on c-span 3. there are some serious scholars in women's studies. most departments include their fair share of nonideological academics. but ideologically fervent, statistically hardliners set the
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tone. by the way, conservative women, moderate women, libertarian women, traditionally religious women left out 6789. her critiques of late 20th criticism have led people to label her. join mark levin on c-span 2. up next, author and historian byron price describes the history of the cattle dwriechlt because of the rigorous nature of the job, men only participated in a few drive. he is the director of the
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charles m russell center for the study of art of the american west at the university of oklahoma. this event was hosted by the cherokee strip regional heritag. >> tonight, professor byron price is going to tell us about exploration in the cattle drive era, 1865 and 1893. professor price currently holds the charles m russell memorial chair and is director of the charles m. russell sent ter university of oklahoma. he is also director of the university of oklahoma press. he is also director of the university of oklahoma press. he graduated from the united states military academy at west point in 1970. he earned an m.a. in museum science at the texas tech university in 1977. we'll have to forgive him that s


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